6th Feb 18 - London Great Railway  Termini

Martin Randall Guided tour of London's 'GREAT RAILWAY TERMINI'. Lead by Dr Steven Brindle - who wrote a definitive biography of Brunel and the English Heritage Guide to Paddington Station. To say the least he 'knew his stuff'!


Started at Paddington Station. Then on to Kings Cross, Central St Martins, St Pancras and tea at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Brunel's magnificent terminus for the Great Western Railway built 1851 and opened in 1854. Now wondrously restored. Just magnificent!
My hero Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The new entrance to Kings Cross. A wonderful example of urban regeneration. I remember when it was full of prostitutes and drug dealers. 
Perhaps William Cubitt's Kings Cross built 1850-1852 is not as inspiring as Brunel's Paddington but the 'new' concourse is  one of the better example of recent regeneration. 
Designed by McAslan & Partners 2005-2012. Wonderful curves! 
View through the arches at Kings Cross
Another example of regeneration at its best. The old gas holders at Kings Cross turned into apartments
Regents Canal 
Then onto the Granary Building at Kings Cross which has been sensitively converted into Central Saint Martins Art College. In the top photo you can see the original brickwork and the 'openings' once used by cranes to raise the grain from the canal below.
Then onto St Pancras. As they built a bridge over the Regent Canal, the trains arrived 20ft above ground level. So they built a huge undercroft. Used by the beer trade initially. Now a huge retail centre! But look at that magnificent arch. At 240ft wide and 70ft high - the highest of all when it opened in 1868.
The regeneration was occasioned by the move of EuroStar from Waterloo to St Pancras.
This Victorian archway and the very much 21st Century advert for the iPhoneX caught my eye 
Then onto the magnificent St Pancras Hotel. 
Indeed, it might have been pulled down in the 1960s/70s without the campaign lead by John Betjeman and the Victorian Society. From the rundown HQ for British Rail it is now a swanky Hotel
Famous for many things including its spectacular staircase. Made 'in/famous' from the Spice Girls video for 'Wanna Be' in the 1980s!